Jump to content

The price of sugar ( well modelling anyway )


Recommended Posts

I always thought that quantity trumps quality within reason except among a well-heeled few.  If I were an aspiring builder, am I more likely to buy fifteen basic models that I am sure I can finish at $10 each or one complicated kit that I may not be able to build at all for $150?  The choice seems obvious to me but maybe not so much to kit producers considering the direction modeling is going.  Pretty much everything that hits the market these days is more advanced and more expensive than whatever came before it because that’s what the loudest voices seem to want.  But how many opportunities to grow new modelers are we missing when kits routinely break the $100 barrier regardless of scale and paint costs almost $10 a bottle?  How does this business model work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally see what you see going on.  I am what you could call a well heeled model builder.  I do however pick and choose.  I was disappointed when the latest P-40b came out with a large price tag that made me squirm.  That business venture will delight many, many builders that value that level of accuracy and detail.  I will “plod on” with my Hasegawa kits.

 

 I regularly pass on kits that I have replaced with newer models (e.g., Special Hobby I-16 kits replaced by ICM, the new Mirage kits and 109E kits). My club members are glad to have them.

 

BTW The Revell 1/32 Ju-88 kit in my mind is the perfect balance of cost, detail, appropriate complexity and decal options.  Revell sold all they made. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are plenty of kits - even 1/32 - for aspiring builders out there that are cheap and plentiful. The 1/32 Revell Spitfire, Bf-109G, and Corsair can all be had from Hannants for under £35 each. Hannants stock something in the region of 300 1/72 kits for less than a tenner.

 

People talk about the high-end kits a lot, which leads to the perception that it's the way the hobby is going, but there's a wide selection of cheaper, more basic kits available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rob Owens said:

But, was the Revell Ju-88 success due to the “balance” you cite, or wide appeal of the subject?

Both.  The subject comes first then the enjoyment of a build for a large range of abilities.  Maybe contrast the Ju-88 with my interest in the Helldiver but I am not willing to deal with the “fit problems” that others have mentioned. In addition I am put off by the extra cost for the wing fold and other add one.  The basic kit is still over $125.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Rick Griewski said:

Both.  The subject comes first then the enjoyment of a build for a large range of abilities.  Maybe contrast the Ju-88 with my interest in the Helldiver but I am not willing to deal with the “fit problems” that others have mentioned. In addition I am put off by the extra cost for the wing fold and other add one.  The basic kit is still over $125.  

I agree, both....bought and built 4 of them with one left in the ever shrinking stash

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the prices for 1/32 airplane kits are relatively cheap compared to the bigger scale car models.

 

1/18 has very few car kits, but the amount of ready-made car models is enormous.

 

Cheap ones start around € 45, but they take me almost a year to modify them into a decent finished model.

 

High end 1/18 ready-made car models go for € 250 to € 800.

 

But my line off thinking is off, because those models aren't supposed to be disassembled and altered, they are made for collector's who put them in display cases.

 

 

Still, a 1/12 scale car kit (like MFH) will cost between € 500 and € 800.

 

Pocher 1/8 scale car kits are between € 800 and € 1000.

 

 

Then again, I see people that build more then 10 high-end 1/32 airplane kits every year. With the prices of recent years, that's very expensive.

 

Have yet to see a modeller that builds more the a couple MFH or Pocher kits in 1 year.

 

 

I'm not saying that building large scale planes IS cheap. But it can be, compared to large scale cars.

 

 

I guess it all comes down to how much you want to spend and how many kits or projects you want to build...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/12/2022 at 4:10 PM, Pascal said:

 

So, THE modeller wants cheaper kits, without all the fancy stuff that's in kits that the technician wants.

 

The modeller doesn't care about accuracy, details, options, etc. The technician wants over engineered, esoteric, unattractive and unaffordable kits.

 

Conclusion : manufacturers mostly make kits for technicians, rarely they make kits for modellers.

 

A modellers kit : you have to work at it and love it.

 

A technicians kit : You don't have to work at it and you don't love it .

 

 

Sound a bit like the "builders" vs the "assemblers" theory. And I don't agree with that line of thought either.

 

 

Personally : every person that spends his or her time in making a scale miniature is a modeller. Whether it's a budget kit, a kit with a ton of aftermarket, or a complete scratchbuild project.

 

Of course you are entitled to have your own opinion, but for me there's no comparision between a 1978 1/32 Hasegawa Storch and a 2009 1/32 Tamiya Spitfire.

 

The Tamiya kit costs 3 times as much as the Hasegawa kit, but it's also 3 times better.

 

My today's car costs 3 times as much as the car I drove in the '70's. I'm very glad that car manufacturers decided to go in the direction of safer, better, more comfortable and more luxurious cars (at a higher cost), then continue making 1970's era cars witout ABS, air bags, sat-nav, airco, cruise control, etc.

 

 

Just my 2 cents (*)

 

(*) If those 2 cents become 6 cents because the manufacturer decides so, I'll still be happy.

 

Sincerely

 

Pascal

 

 

And you are entitled to your opinion Pascal.

However you partly miss my point, also most of us are on some sort of a budget but if you wish to keep paying the exponential costs for kits that carry on. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that nobody has pointed out the obvious:  Not all modelers are equal in skill level and financial resources, so the kits that are offered cover the entire spectrum of same.  There is no perfect kit of accuracy, ease of assembly and cost that suits everyone.  Most modelers have average skill levels and an average ability to pay for kits, so most kits are "average" as a result.  Thankfully, there are "technical" (and expensive) kits for some and easy (and cheap) kits for others.  We are lucky to have so many choices.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@dmthamade and TonyT - have either of you guys actually built the Tamiya Mosquito?   I have and your comments about being way too complex and having way too many open panels are totally off base.   Assembling the Mossie is as easy as it gets.  Just follow the instructions and everything clicks into place.  Compare to lower end kits, with a lower parts count but nothing fits without filling, sanding and forcing parts together.  Also - if you don’t like the open panels on the Mossie, simply glue them in the closed position.   Those parts actually fit perfectly, unlike other lower end kits that force you to leave the panels open since it’s nearly impossible to get them properly glued in place.  
 

Edited by John1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/13/2022 at 9:21 AM, MikeMaben said:

Hi Jon ,    :hi:

I've always thought that the best solution would be that all kits would be

released as a simpler build (like Hasegawa, Revell, Special Hobby) and let

the aftermarket folks take it from there. Even state of the art Tamiya kits

have parts offered aftermarket which seems odd to me. The builders who

want to go nutz with super detail (and some of it 'is' super) can spend the

extra bucks and be happy and those that aren't can still be happy.

Like cars have always been, you can buy a stripped down base model

or add all the options you want and spend extra.

You wouldn't buy a Ferrari to get from point A to point B.

...OK some of us might  :whistle:

Well thanks Mike - your comments and welcome banner are greatly appreciated :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/12/2022 at 8:39 PM, Tony T said:

I agree with you Jon. The 1/32 DeHavilland Mosquito kits are a classic example. The Tamiya FB.VI is (arguably) over-engineered and unnecessarily complex, making it a well-fitting chore; alas it is, unfortunately, the only fighter variant to be had. The Revell bomber Mosquito is a relic from the past, and almost an antique, whereas the Hong Kong Models bomber variants are in the goldilocks zone of just right in terms of buildability and fun but not as pretty as the others' body shapes, especially the Tamiya which is an expensive date. 

 

Many of the Trumpeter jets from the release period roughly 2005-2015 (discounting the often irrelevant stores) have the right balance of parts, fit and fun. The prices used to be about right too, making a bit of corrective surgery well worth the risk. The Trumpeter MiG-23 series and Revell's later Hawker Hunter kits immediately come to mind. ICM similarly offer great fitting well-engineered kits with the right work-fun balance, but sadly events in the Ukraine may mean we have seen the last of them, at least for a while. 

 

Tony 

Hello Tony

Yes - I know what you mean about that period of Trumpeter jets once they had got past about the Mig -17 etc. I have built 3 Revell Hunters and thought them fantastic, very accurate and you could take them as far as you wanted to go detail wise. I also felt the HKM Mosquito was a fun build ( although the wings dihedral was a little abrupt ), converted/built mine as a Med Seagrey over PRU 1950s PR34.

 

Regards

Jon

 

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/13/2022 at 3:13 AM, Rick Griewski said:

I do not get this “modeler” verses “technician” thing.  This “issue”  has shown up in various forms and descriptions. But  I am both!  I am sure many others are both and we like to sample and chose among the offerings of the kit manufacturers.  I am glad to have Tamiya, Revell, and WNW and Dora and Roden and Special hobby and my go to WNW replacement ICM.  lICM strikes

a balance. 

Nor do I Rick - It has been taken out of context you will need to take it up with Pascal !

Thanks

Jon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/13/2022 at 4:29 PM, Pascal said:

I guess it all comes down to how much you want to spend and how many kits or projects you want to build...

 

Bingo! I just dumped a large hunk of change for a kit that I've decided I just had to have. I get an equally big kick out of snatching $15 Otaki kits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...